The Motor Boat Awards are the only marine awards with the motor boat buyers’ best interests at heart. Hosted by Motor Boat & Yachting and sponsored by Side-Power, the awards are judged purely on the boats’ design, ability and value for money in their chosen market place.
There are seven different boat awards up for grabs, as well as the Customer Service Award in association with Nautibuoy Marine and the Judges’ Special Award in association with Lumishore. All the boats have been sea-trialled and rigorously tested by the magazine’s technical experts, and the winners will be announced in a virtual ceremony on 19 January.
“Firstly, we only consider boats that have been independently tested by at least one of our judges,” explained Editor Hugo Andreae and Deputy Editor Jack Haines. “Secondly, there is no costly or complex entry procedure, we automatically consider any boat that we have sea trialled and published in the last 12 months. Thirdly, we always base our decisions on what we think the boat buying public are looking for.”
The 2021 Motor Boat Awards are split into the following categories:
Sports Boats & RIBs Category Winner: Nimbus T8
Finalists: Beneteau Flyer 7 Sundeck, Beneteau Flyer 10, Cranchi E26, Hydrolift X-27 SUV, Nimbus T8, Saxdor 200 Sport.
Nimbus came very close to winning one of these awards with its larger range of 9 and 11m walkaround weekenders but it’s this smaller 8m version which really impressed the judges. The T8 offers many of the same desirable traits as the larger T9 and T11, such as safe walkaround decks, reassuringly solid build quality, versatile cockpit seating and overnight accommodation, but in a smaller, faster, trailable package.
Sportscruisers up to 40ft Category Winner: Grandezza 37CA
Finalists: Axopar 37 MkII, Grandezza 37CA, Gulf Craft Oryx 379, Windy 37 Shamal, Nimbus T11
In a category full of desirable machinery, the 37 CA stood out because of its chameleon-like ability to fulfil both the sporting and cruising roles of this segment of the market. By offering both an open cockpit and a fully enclosed upper saloon enhanced by a sunroof and full-height side door, its stylish coupé design makes winter jaunts as comfortable as summer ones, while a pair of comfortable cabins and a generous bathroom make longer cruises possible too.
Sportscruisers over 40ft Winner: Azimut S6 yacht
Finalists: Azimut S6, Fjord 41XL, Pardo 50, Princess V55, Sunseeker Predator 60 Evo.
Azimut S6 bold triple-IPS layout not only delivers strong performance and impressive fuel economy for a craft of this size but also frees up space for a lavish owner’s suite, a generously proportioned VIP suite and a proper double cabin without the usual bunk beds you’d typically find in its rivals.
Flybridges up to 50ft Winner: Prestige 420 Fly yacht
Finalists: Absolute 47 Fly, Delphia Bluescape 1200 Fly, Galeon 400 Fly, Prestige 420 Fly.
In replacing the 400 with the 420, Prestige hasn’t just improved on its predecessor, it has made it far more desirable as well. By removing the separate master cabin access, the designers have created more space in both the saloon and the cabin.
Flybridges over 50ft Winner: Pearl 62 yacht
Finalists: Absolute 64 Navetta, Absolute 68 Navetta, Pearl 62, Prestige X70
British designer Bill Dixon has scored a major design coup by managing to fit four such stellar cabins plus a crew space aboard the Pearl 62 without any obvious compromises. This is complemented by a Kelly Hoppen interior that we rate as her best work yet; it’s a design that heightens the occasion from the moment you step on board and works well on a practical level too.
Custom yachts Category Winner: Pershing 8X
Prestige 420 Fly yacht: Extra 86 Fast, Pershing 8X, Riva 110, Sirena 88, Spirit P70.
Pershing shipyard has worked its magic on the 8X, creating a yacht that is considerably more spacious than its predecessor but still handles and performs as a Pershing should. While many of the big yards are moving away from performance yachts in favour of slower, more voluminous designs, the Pershing 8X proves that if you do your homework right, it is still possible to have your cake and eat it.
Judge’s Special Award Winner: Knut Heiberg-Andersen.
Customer Service Award Winner: Approved Boats, Europe’s premier yacht brokerage & boat sales network
Finalists: Approved Boats, Berthon, Boats.co.uk, Coast Marine Services, Ventura Yachts.